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Motorcycles, with their fuel efficiency and smaller amount of moving parts, are instant money savers over other vehicles. However, you can extend those savings even further with a little DIY maintenance knowledge. Here are five maintenance tips you can do on your own in a breeze.
1. Oil Changes
Your owner’s manual details exactly when your motorcycle needs an oil change, but you don’t have to take it to the shop for this simple task. Start by riding your bike for roughly five minutes, giving the oil a chance to loosen up and drain easier.
From there, turn the engine off and remove the drain plug while your bike is sitting upright. Let the oil drain into a pan, replace the oil filter, then put everything back together. Once the oil cap plug is back on, fill it up with whatever oil you prefer. Simple, right?
2. Replacing the Air Filter
Your air filter is essential to keeping debris out of your engine. Thankfully, changing it is an easy task on most motorcycles. You might have to remove a few parts to access the air box, but once you do it’s as simple as taking the filter out and popping in a new one.
3. Tire Maintenance
Every rider needs to make sure their tires are at the pressure to ward off wear and tear as long as possible. Checking the pressure on a bike is the same as any other vehicle. Just find the valve stem and fill it up to the proper PSI. As for tread, motorcycles feature a wear indicator that looks like a little rubber knob. If you see it sticking up past the grooves in your tires, it’s time for a new pair.
4. Changing the Coolant
Coolant compartments are often located inside the body, which means you’ll need to remove a few parts to gain access. Just like with your oil, there’s a plug that needs removed so the liquid can drain into a pan. You need to remove the radiator cap as well. Make sure to use a funnel when filling your coolant back up after the process is over to prevent any unwanted spills on your engine.
5. Chain Cleaning
You can choose to clean your chain when it looks dirty or per the instructions in your owners’ manual. Either way, start by elevating the rear end of your bike and leaving your transmission in neutral. Now you can freely move the chain as you clean it with a bristle brush. Stick with something gently to avoid unsightly scratches.
After a good scrubbing, show your chain some love with a little lube. Bike shops have specially designed lubrication for motorcycles. Keep the coat even and ensure it gets into the joint of the chain through the O-rings. After five minutes, wipe the chain clean.
The tips above will help keep your motorcycle in tip-top shape for rides to come without hefty maintenance bills. However, neglecting any of these five key areas is a recipe for a wreck. If you do find yourself in hot water, make sure to speak with experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. Don’t forget to take your bike in for regular maintenance, too. While these five DIY projects help, they don’t cover everything.